What to do if Your Flight was Canceled Due to the Blizzard of 2010
Tens of thousands of travelers were stranded due to the blizzard that hit the East Coast in December 2010. The impact was enormous across the country after 8,200 flights were canceled during the week following Christmas Day, wreaking havoc for air travelers from coast to coast---even those oversees, in some cases.
According to Budget Travel magazine, if you were booked on a flight that was delayed or canceled due to the blizzard, and you incurred additional expenses as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Most airlines waived their customary fees for changing a ticket during the storm. If you were billed for a ticket change fee, submit a claim for reimbursement via your credit card company. As a general rule, you will need to file a complaint within 45 days of your flight, Budget Travel advises.
- If you opted to cancel your ticket, you should get a full refund and not be subjected to a cancellation fee. "Just because the snow has melted doesn't mean that all flight issues have been resolved," says Laura Michonski, Deputy Editor Online for Budget Travel. "If you haven't already been reimbursed for your ticket change, you should definitely follow-up with the airline to sort out your refund. Start by calling the customer service hotline and then follow up by email as well-that way you have a record of your request in case anything goes wrong."
Unfortunately, those travelers who opted to book a room at a hotel rather than wait in the airport, will not be reimbursed for this expense. Airlines are not required to pay for the cost of lodging during a storm, according to Budget Travel. As the cancellation was out of the airlines' control, you did not have an automatic right to compensation beyond being re-booked.
Foreign airlines, on the other hand, tend to be more generous than domestic carriers. If you were a passenger on a oversees-based airline, contact one of its company representatives to see if you might be entitled to some compensation for additional costs you incurred, from meals to phone calls to lodging, advises Budget Travel.